Pay it Forward

Okay, so, I just received in the mail from Sara the most amazing bag that she made, because she’s amazingly talented. And I just realized that I never posted MY part of the PiF meme, so I’m doing it now.

To borrow from her:

It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based of the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on.

So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise!

I’m adding the caveat here that something handmade from me MAY end up being a short story or other piece of original writing, because I’m better at words than crafts. Then again, I do have some talents y’all don’t know about.

Oh, and for purposes of this meme, responses MUST be at the blog, NOT on LiveJournal.

The hope being, then, that YOU will pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. Rocks

I don’t often gush about online shopping but let me tell you why rocks.

First, there’s the fact that they offer books, music, dvd’s and all the cool electronic toys any of us could want at really good prices. It’s true that lots of other online stores do that, but most don’t also show you the going price for the item you’re looking at, and where you can get it. Not just, “average retail price is X” but “You can also get this at Target for X.” I like that they’re honest about these things, especially since their prices are usually the lowest of the bunch.

Then there’s the fact that they take multiple forms of payment: credit/debit cards, paypal, and google checkout, the latter of which nets you a $10 discount if you’re a first-time user. I’m all for saving $10 when I can.

The site itself is easy to navigate, and uses images and text as well as audio and video to display products. Users can even upload video reviews of the products they’ve ordered. Regular multimedia segments include Howie Mandel’s “What’s Shakin'” and Ryan Seacrest’s “Deal of the Week” both of which highlight specific offerings.

Another reason why rocks is that they offer free shipping, which is great if you’re buying a big-ticket item where shipping is usually based on weight.

I went there to browse through their camera offerings and found one I really like, and am about to order it. I’ll let you know if everything goes smoothly. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for anything from jewelry to sunglasses to flat screen dvds, check out

Tired. Cranky. Breathless.

Still sick, but brain is clearer even if head is not.

Downstairs furnace refusing to put out heat. Upstairs all toasty. Took a nap in guest room (warm, but mattress too firm) last night, and woke after 90 minutes feeling all hot and blistery again.

Came back down to 65-degree bedroom, and snuggled under five layers of covers (sheet, cotton blanket, bedspread, big cotton blanket, big ass comforter) and a heating pad, and slept fitfully.

Breathing would be nice.
Throat feels raw.

Have stopped taking expectorants because when you have chronic post-nasal drip coughing doesn’t expel mucus into your mouth so you can spit it out, but up above your soft palate so you slowly choke yourself to death. Benadryl seems to work best. Benadryl, ibuprofen, and lots of water.

Haven’t really rested. So. Fucking. Tired.
Going back under the blankets now.

Carry on.

It’s Fuzzy’s Fault

…that I’m sitting here feeling like I’m burnt to a crisp because he came down with a nasty flu on Saturday, and, typical of him, didn’t medicate or rest or anything until his fever had already escalated to “lobster” hot.

This morning, I was fine, if a bit scratchy throated, until D and M got on the road heading west, and then I sat down at my desk in the living room, and could literally feel the flu attacking my system. I went from normal to 102 in less than three hours, and have since napped, faded in and out of quasi-nappage, been so cold that despite the fact that the temperature outside was above 85, I was bundled in flannel pajamas, socks, a t-shirt, and a fleece pullover, while underneath four layers of blankets and clutching a heating pad, and currently (even post cool shower) I feel so feverish that I would not be surprised if the flesh on my arms peeled away like the meat from the bone of a chicken leg.

Fuzzy is improving, and just went to fetch dinner as we have nothing illness friendly in the house. Me? I want to bathe in ice water but it would take too much effort.


Did I mention that I got a bag full of free books today (and learned, in the process, that I am not the only person who reuses those nifty little Starbucks bags)?

There are three rules I have when it comes to reading:
1) Read something every day, even if it’s just a blog entry, an article in a magazine, or a chapter of whatever book is in the bathroom.
2) Read a little bit of everything: comedy, drama, chick-lit, serious fiction, biographies, non-fiction…it’s all good, and limiting yourself never is.
3) Never, ever turn down free books.

The unwritten fourth rule of books is to share what you read – either by passing books along to others or writing reviews. The bag I got from Deb this afternoon comes with the requirement that most be reviewed for All Things Girl, either the ‘zine or the blog, and I’m really excited about doing so.

Muddled Days

Between Zorro being sick and both of us being sick (we keep passing a cold/sinus/thing back and forth, I think), and just not sleeping well, my schedule is skewed beyond the normal funky hours I tend to keep, which is why I, the one who generally doesn’t work past noon on Fridays, found myself writing news about life insurance policies at 6 PM last night, and working on a music video for a project at eleven last night.

Today was a mix of business and pleasure. We put the order in for the new carpet for the lower hallway and stairs (a commercial grade variegated color called “moss” for the first floor – a mix of sage, clay, coffee and cream, and slate – the swatch looked amazing when we put it near the walls and the cherry floor it will touch.

The upper hall and stairs will get cushy-soft residential carpet in a color called “mocha mist” which is swear is NOT this year’s version of condo cream or apartment gold. It’s a caramel-y warm neutral, but deeper than any of those “we’re about to sell this house” colors, and while it goes well with the current color scheme, will allow us to change the walls without having to redo the carpet AGAIN, should we desire.

It takes 10 or so days for the carpet to arrive.

I cannot wait.

I also met Deb for coffee (this time at the Border’s in Arlington Highlands, where there was an actual bagpiper piping in the square. Apparently, he’s a high school student and a member of the Scottish Rite, and this was some kind of extra credit thing. He was adorable, in the way that freshly scrubbed teenaged boys in kilts tend to be, and somehow it was a perfect cap to a sunny, springy, February day.

We just got back from grocery shopping (London broil 2 for 1, ditto the high-grade chicken breasts. Yay meat!) and I’m doing some pre-cleaning before Fuzzy steam cleans the carpets for the last time. Well, THESE carpets, anyway.

In April, we’ll be tiling the formal dining room.

A New Element…

From my stepfather…

Research has led to the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years; It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Back from Vet.

The good news is, Zorro’s lungs are clear. No pneumonia this time.
He does have a slight cold.

Vet was unable to determine if coughing is cold related or heart congestion.

As Zorro is already on an ACE inhibitor (enalapril) we’ve got another ten days of antibiotics, and more cough meds.

If this doesn’t kill the cough, we’ll be putting him back on Lasix.

Still this visit was only $65, and half of that was the enalapril refill.

And he gave kisses to the vet.

And the Starbucks guy (I stopped for a medicinal mocha on the way home) gave me 4 chocolate cupcakes for the price of 2.

Thank you for your good wishes for my little Z-dog. He really is the sweetest creature.

Zorro’s Sick Again

His wet, hacking cough is back. He coughed all night, and it started to ease as light came, but he’s still doing it just not as much. He seems exhausted.

When I hold him, I can feel the heart murmur without “looking” for it.

We go back to the vet with him in a bit over two hours.

Despite everything he’s frisky and seems happy.

But I feel like there’s an hourglass over his head with the sand draining out all too rapidly.

Packages Tied Up with Strings

There were no raindrops or roses in my yard yesterday, though for a while the clouds were teasingly ominous, and technically the package I received in my mailbox was sealed with adhesive, not tied up with a string, but a package is a package, and even though I was in migraine hell, cranky from bad sleep, and suffering from lack of protein (we never got around to grocery shopping on the weekend, and so our refrigerator has yogurt, bottled water, eggs, and assorted condiments, but not much else, and I wasn’t in the mood for eggs) this package made me giggle with joy.

What package?

Why the two t-shirts I ordered from The Robbieverse, the collection of gear (t-shirts, mugs, and the like) which happily sports the playful, whimsical, colorful are of one Rob Wolf, known as “ArchanglRobriel” in LJ environs (and not linked as his LJ is mainly friends-only. Big thanks to Jeremy for introducing us, though).

Not only are these two designs as cool in person as they are on the page, but the t-shirt style chosen is big enough to keep certain female parts comfortable without feeling like they’re bound in mummy-wrappings, but isn’t eighty gazillion feet long, which is an issue with many t-shirts when you’re short and busty.

CafePress is pretty simple to work with, and even though my target arrival date with standard shipping was this Friday, they arrived earlier, and when things are early I’m always delighted.

Especially when it means I get to pimp a friend’s artwork.

Go check out The Robbieverse. Buy stuff. It will make you smile.